Modifying parenting time and restricting parenting time are two very different actions because the court will use different standards to determine the outcome.
Modifying parenting time usually occurs when one parent moves away or into the geographic area where the children reside, or one parent is seeking more or less parenting time because of changed circumstances. The court reviews a Motion to Modify Parenting Time with the children’s “best interests” in mind.
If one party is seeking to relocate the children to a geographic area that will “substantially change the geographic ties” between a child and and the other party, the party must file a Motion to Relocate a Minor Child.
A Motion to Restrict Parenting Time is typically filed when one party feels the children are in danger. The court must hold a hearing to review the Motion to Restrict Parenting Time within 14 days of its filing, and the parent that faces restricted parenting time may only have supervised parenting time during the time between the motion filing date and the initial hearing.
The court will restrict parenting time only if it finds that continuing the current parenting time schedule will “endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development,” which is a much higher standard of proof than the “best interests” standard. The parent that seeks to restrict the other parent’s parenting time has to meet the higher standard of proof to prevail.